Benefits of treadmill running

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If your a keen runner like myself, i’m sure you have often wondered how beneficial the treadmill is for you, especially when working towards a marathon. Is it less effective than training on the roads? Will I be able to cover my target distance if I use the treadmill often? Is it easier or harder than road running? The facts are in terms of physiological demand treadmill running is easier, at the same time the perceived effort is higher. So why would you use it?

After 15 marathons and a serious amount of trial and error, i’m a firm believer the treadmill can be an extremely useful training tool. If your clever and target specific runs, you will reap the rewards.

Below are a few reasons why I add the sweaty T sessions to my weekly schedule

Less stressful – The treadmill provides rest bite from the unforgiving road surface. Any tempo workout over 6 miles outside has me in bits for days, affecting recovery and having a negative impact on the rest of my weeks training. If I hit a hard tempo on the treadmill, I’m usually feeling half decent the day after and able to maximize my week, ensuring I get all of my desired miles in the bank keeping me mentally positive.

I feel like I’m working a lot harder on the treadmill to sustain an equal pace to which I would run outside. This is due to a few reasons including your biomechanics, in-particular landing with a flatter foot, but this has it’s benefits;

Improves cadence – You learn to turn your legs over at a quicker rate, a more efficient way of running.

Become fitter – Your body has to cope working at more intense levels,  your heart rate will be higher dealing with the heat and losing fluids. When returning to less intense conditions I find it slightly easier.

Fueling and hydrating – The treadmill is extremely convenient when it comes to practicing this essential part of distance running. If a 2 hr run is a bit much, try splitting up your run, with the first half on the road and second on the treadmill. A slightly boring and long treadmill workout will toughen you up mentally for sure.


Remember to set the incline to at least 1% to counteract the lack of wind resistance.

Always listen to your body. I find mixing my runs inside and outside works best for me and keeps me fine tuned. You can only ever understand your body through giving things a try!

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